This quick and rewarding project is all about a product you’ll find in office stores (and now in the scrapbooking aisles of craft stores,) the classic shipping tag. They’re perfect to repurpose – they’re made of heavy, creamy cardstock, they have a reinforced punched hole, and come with a nice piece of sturdy string. In this project I’m turning them into notebooks and envelopes that are just right for gifting small trinkets, holding notecards, or keeping track of secrets.
– #5 shipping tags (4 3/4 by 2 3/8 inches) or whatever you find
– washi tape or decorative paper strips + glue
– paper or cardstock for the notebook pages
– utility knife or other straight blade
– cutting mat
– cork or other pinable surface
– waxed paper (only if your washi tape needs cutting like mine did)
Score the tag in two places – one to make a flap, the other to fold the envelope or notebook to close.
I used the back of my knife to score, a bone folder would have been better but I just moved and I’m sure mine is here somewhere. If you use this method be careful not to put your finger on the blade and cut yourself.
The first score I made was at 3 3/4 inches.
The second score I made was at 1 7/8 inches (or just a hair less.)
Crease on the score lines.
My washi tape is quite wide and I wanted it narrower for this project. I just cut the piece I needed, stuck it to some waxed paper, sliced it in half, and continued.
Pre-fold the washi tape if you’ve used waxed paper, that makes it easier to align.
Align the end with the flap fold on the tag and press the tape down the length of the envelope side.
Flip it over and smooth the tape down.
Do the same on the other side.
Trim the tape. That’s it, you have an envelope.
You’ll probably want to adjust the tie so the bow lands in the cutest possible place. Remove the tie from the tag and center it around the envelope (or notebook.) The center of the tie strand should be at about the back center of the envelope.
Hold the strand down over the flap and fold it back as shown.
Now put that loop through the hole in the tag…
…and the ends of the tie strand through that loop.
Tighten it up and see if the bow lands in the right place. You might need to adjust it a bit, but once you have it figured out for one you can just copy those measurements onto any other pieces you make.
For the notebook I wanted my pages to be a little smaller than the notebook. I left a 1/8 inch margin around them, so my pages were cut at 2 1/8 wide and 3.5 long.
Cut as many pages as you want and score/fold them at the halfway point.
Use the push pin to arrange three holes in the fold. I nudged my ruler down a 1/16th to center it on the page, then used the 1 inch, 1/2 inch and 1 1/2 inch points for my holes.
Stack all of the pages and the cover together and stab them all at once.
Thread the needle, I used a double strand for security. Stitch up through the center hole.
Down through the top hole.
Up through the bottom hole.
And down into the center, being careful not to split any previous threads.
Flip the book over and make sure that the start and end of your threads are on opposite sides of the long stitch.
Pull everything up tightly and tie the ends together in a knot over the long stitch.
Trim the threads.
Wrap the spine of the book in tape, making sure to keep the tails tucked in neatly. Trim any tape that hangs off the ends.
Do the same thing with the tie strand that I showed with the envelope so that the bow lands in the front.
I had some smaller tags so I made a tiny bonus card to tuck into the envelope. I again stuck the tape to waxed paper, folded the tape in half, then cut the point. I folded the card with roughly the same proportions I used on the larger tag.
That’s all. It would be a great project if you needed a bunch, once you get the method worked out you can make a lot of them in no time!